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  • Writer's pictureAllison Jones

Ontario moved 424 people into nursing homes they didn't choose

Province says system is working as it should

Liam Casey and Allison Jones · The Canadian Press · Posted: Jun 12, 2024 1:25 PM EDT | Last Updated: 10 hours ago

More than 400 patients have been forced into Ontario nursing homes they did not want to go to and the rate of those moves is increasing, The Canadian Press has learned.

There were 424 discharged patients who moved to a nursing home not of their choosing out of 20,261 patients who were moved to long-term care homes since a law allowing such moves came into force in late 2022, the long-term care minister's office said.

About one-third of those patients were moved in just February and March, the last two months for which data was available.

And one woman faces a $26,000 hospital charge under the provisions of the law that her family doesn't plan to pay.

Controversial bill forces tough choices for families

In the summer of 2022, a few months after Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives won a landslide victory in the election, the government introduced Bill 7 in an effort to open up much-needed hospital space. The province passed the bill into law within days, bypassing a study at committee, which sparked a firestorm of anger from the opposition and seniors.

The law is aimed at so-called alternate level of care patients who are discharged from hospital but need a long-term care bed and don't have one yet. Hospitals can send those patients to nursing homes not of their choosing up to 70 kilometres away, or up to 150 kilometres away in northern Ontario, if spaces open up there first.

If patients flat out refuse those transfers, hospitals can charge them $400 a day under the law.


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